December 19, 2014

LETTER: Recall committee turns in campaign finance report

Ryan Beasley

Gardner Recall Committee Treasurer

Almost a year has passed now since the contentious and dividing issue of the recall of city council members John Shepherd and Mary Peters.  As much as we’d like to forget and move on, there are those in the community and local media that continue to push the issues.

When we started the recall campaign we inquired about whether or not we would need to file a campaign contribution report.  We asked Brian Newby of the Johnson County Election office, he suggested we inquire with the state, and the state sent us back to the County Election office.   To say the least there was a lot of gray in whether or not we needed to account for any monies we took in for the recall election.

With some inquires to the Johnson County Election Office and the Johnson District Attorney, coming from the Gardner News and other possible citizens, about our campaign contributions we have been asked by the DA’s office to account for these contributions.  To the best of our knowledge we have accounted for the contributions from 2009 and 2010 and will have filed the necessary information on February 24th.

Some of you may ask yourselves what about the campaign contributions for Shepherd and Peters?  Like we said there is a lot of gray and as of now we have no definitive answer from the JCEO or the DA’s office as to whether or not they are required to file.

With us having to claim the campaign contributions to the recall efforts, we understand this may put some of you in an uncomfortable situation and for that we apologize.  The recall was uncomfortable and hopefully with these final forms we can lay this part of Gardner’s history to rest.

As far as the future of Gardner, we pray that the citizens of Gardner will pay attention to the politics going on around them so a recall doesn’t have to happen again.  On April 5th there is an important election coming up, three city council seats are up for grabs.  Eight people are running for these three seats. Find out who these people are and what their ideas and views are for the future of Gardner.

We appreciate the understanding and patience with the filing of these contribution forms and hope that citizens and news sources will be responsible and respectful of everyone who exercised their rights and freedoms by contributing to the recall.

Comments

  1. Pride goeth before destruction. And haughtiness cometh before a fall. Beasley should look this one up. It’s a really famous quote.

    Anyway, this boy who is asking everyone to “be respsectful” isn’t he the same one who staged a protest rally in front of a Gardner businesswoman’s store, because she didn’t agree with him?

    That’s not very “respectful.” In fact, it’s a real a$$h*le move. I hope people don’t forget how Beasley called people “criminals” and how he treated everyone else who didn’t agree with him.

    Shoes on the other foot now, and by reading this angry missive, I can tell he doesn’t like it much. I hope he includes in his “prayers” the desire for a greater understanding. He needs it.

  2. Responsibility? says:

    It’s easier to blame others than to accept responsibility for your own actions. Seems to be a lot of rationalization and justification. He seems to see “a lot of grey area;” maybe that’s due to the lack of grey matter between his ears. Own what you do, or don’t do it.

  3. Alfie Thompson says:

    Ryan Beasley says, “As far as the future of Gardner, we pray that the citizens of Gardner will pay attention to the politics going on around them so a recall doesn’t have to happen again. On April 5th there is an important election coming up, three city council seats are up for grabs. Eight people are running for these three seats. Find out who these people are and what their ideas and views are for the future of Gardner.”
    FYI, Ryan, a recall didn’t have to happen the first time around
    since no council person did anything wrong, as the DA said before pawns were used to remake the previous election. But I absolutely agree with you that we have to hope people are paying attention now.
    This campaign report is very revealing. At least three of the donations came from people who were beaten in the previous election. (Sour grapes? The hope of being appointed if seats became vacant? Hmmm.)
    Three of the people who donated are currently running for city council positions. (They knew they’d have a better chance if they didn’t have to run against incumbents? Axes to grind?)
    A large contingent of donors are in Real Estate and–though I seriously, seriously doubt that they believed Mary and John did anything wrong, and if you asked them and they answered honestly, they would probably admit that they didn’t think any wrongdoing was done–they think they had something financial to gain. They disagreed with Mary and John’s stance on some major issues and this was definitely a great way to get their way. So they contributed to get rid of inconvenient (but honest and trust worthy) council members and their votes.
    Then, of course, there were the really unethical donations. The mayor. One of his appointee’s wife. (And I suspect most of the rest of the ‘anonymous’ donors. What names would those be?)
    Yes, this is major news!
    But one of the most revealing things about this list is about the people who collected the donations–and at least one of them is running for city council. Yes, it is very, very important that, as Ryan said,we need to “Find out who these people are and what their ideas and views are for the future of Gardner.”
    So who are the people who collected these donations? Were they really privy to the facts and on a mission to right a wrong? Or were they just pawns who did the bidding of those who had a lot to gain?
    Since the report is incomplete and still has lots and lots of anonymous donors listed, we may never know the full story of why we had a recall election when no one did anything wrong.
    To my knowledge, none of the people on the recall committee actually talked to any of the council members or the people involved in getting them elected
    about what happened. (I’m fairly sure if they had talked to ANYONE, they would have seen how wrong their efforts were–if they are the reasonable, intelligent, common sense people they claim to be.) And they obviously didn’t believe the DA knew what he was talking about after his investigation.
    And wouldn’t reasonable, intelligent, common sense people with no axes to grind have asked a few questions or had a few moral or ethical qualms about accepting money from someone who claimed publicly to be “staying out of it”, as the mayor did? Wouldn’t they question the power the mayor had to gain by being in total control of the people who would be voting on issues faced by the city of Gardner?
    So we’re left with two serious conclusions about the people collecting donations for the Recall Committee:
    They were naively and very aptly used by people who had a lot to gain.
    Or they really didn’t care about reality, ethics, the truth and what is right.
    Which is it? Either answer gives us lots of insight about the people collecting money and several people on the ballot. Thank you, Gardner News for this important story.
    And I would hope that it does what Ryan hopes it will do; I hope it helps people decide not to vote for several of the candidates on the upcoming ballot.

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